Promises of God
THE CLASS-LEADER’S METHOD
Carvosso had seen all his children converted but one. Borne down with anxiety for her, he sought counsel of his class-leader, Sunday night, returning from class. “Why don’t you claim a promise of the Lord?” asked the leader. “I don’t understand you.” “Well, the Book is full of promises, some bearing right on your case. Seize one of these, and throw all your weight on it until God feels your confidence in Heaven.” “I’ll do it,” said the dear old man. They parted.
In a moment the promise swept down like a cable before him: “Thou shalt not leave one hoof behind thee.” He recognized it in all its breadth and meaning. He seized it, and swung clean loose from earth and earthly doubts. God signaled that it would be all right. For ten days he saw no change. On the tenth day he was plowing near his house, when a runner came from his wife: “Do come at once; it seems daughter will die.” But he understood it.
“What’s the matter, daughter?” as he reached her room. “O father, pray for me. I do believe I’m lost.”
In a little while she was converted. “Now, daughter, tell me all about it.” “I don’t know anything about it, save that Sunday night ten days ago, just before you came from classmeeting, something got hold of my heart that I could not shake off, or read off, or sleep off. I have been miserable ever since.” “I know all about it. That very night I claimed with all my heart the promise made to Israel — that is what has moved you.”
When Carvosso quit doubting, God began working.
A PROMISE PUNCTUALLY KEPT
There are few men who have tested the Lord’s promises in worldly matters more frequently, and to so large an extent, as the Rev. D. M. Heydrick, of Brooklyn, N. Y. One of his experiences is related by the Rev. H. J. Latham in his “God’s Business.” It appears that Mr. Heydrick opened a mission relying on certain payments being made by a Christian associate. A number of reversible seats costing $300 were ordered, and before they were paid for his associate withdrew from the mission, and neglected to pay for the seats. Mr. Heydrick could not pay, and the manufacturer, growing impatient, told him he must sue the man who ordered them.
Mr. Heydrick said, “Let us see what the Word says about this matter.” He opened to these words, “There is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?”
The surprise of the merchant at the aptness of the passage was complete. Mr. Heydrick said, “Give me a month, and I will pay for those seats myself.”
The merchant agreed to this. One month later Mr. Heydrick called upon this man. He said: “I promised to pay you $300 today. I haven’t got the money. I am very sorry. I wish you would give me a little more time.”
“Certainly,” was the reply. “But I thought the Lord helped you to keep your promises.”
There was no answer.
“How is this?”
“I cannot understand it. God has never disappointed me before. I am sorry to be obliged to ask you for an extension of time. I will have it for you in a month. Good-bye.”
“Good-bye,” said the manufacturer. “Oh, say! I saw a person in the street today who was inquiring about you. I answered that you would be at my office today. I was asked to give you this letter. I had almost forgotten it.”
Mr. Heydrick opened the letter. On a sheet of paper were these words:
“Use this in the Lord’s cause.”
Enclosed in the letter were six fifty-dollar bills. Mr. Heydrick handed the money to the merchant with the words: “There’s your $300. Give me a receipt. God has not disappointed me. Blessed be His holy name forever.”
— The Christian Herald.
ONLY A TRACT
In a room on the top floor of a tenement house, a woman sat by the window sewing. Her thoughts were keeping time with her needle when a feeble voice from the cot in the corner said, “Mamma, is it almost morning? I am so hungry.” A true mother only can know how she felt as she crossed the cold, bare floor to the bedside. The cupboard had been bare for several meals. Promises and imaginations could ease the pangs of hunger no longer. Tears filled the eyes of the patient little sufferer as she asked, “Will we never have anything to eat any more?”
“Yes, dear, I hope you will have all you want some day. Don’t cry any more. I’ll see if I can’t get something for you. Oh, my,” she said, as she paused a moment at the door, “has the thing which I dreaded so much come at last? Must I go out into the streets and beg.”
Just then she noticed a slip of paper being pushed under the door. “An old advertisement, I suppose. That doesn’t feed a hungry mouth. But it looks so peculiar. I’ll see what it is.” She picked it up and read, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
“I wonder who put that there so early in the morning.” She opened the door and listened, but there was not a sound. She looked at the little tract again. “It seems so strange that anyone should bother climbing the stairs for such a thing as that. I often read that in the Bible long ago. It doesn’t look around here as if there was much truth in it. I wonder why it is in the Bible anyway?”
She turned it over and read: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” “That seems as untrue as the other. I was never more forsaken by God or man than now.” A voice whispered to her, “My child, these many years I cared for thee, but thou didst turn thy back upon me. Thou forsakest me, not I thee. That is why the way is hard and dark. Thou didst not ask me to supply thy need. Call upon me and I will answer and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” She knew it was the voice of God and needed no further rebuke. Simple as a child she told Him all her need and He proved Himself true to His promises. Every need was supplied. That room, once so dark and dismal, became a cheerful home. The child was taught to trust in God and the mother’s faith in Him could no more be moved. Only a tract, prayerfully placed, did the work whereunto it was sent.
PRAY FROM GOD’S SIDE OF THE FENCE
“When a boy I was much helped by Bishop Hamline, who visited at a house where I was. Taking me aside, the Bishop said: ‘When in trouble, my boy, kneel down a ask God’s help, but never climb over the fence into the devil’s ground and then kneel down and ask help. Pray from God’s side of the fence.’ Of that,” said he, “I have thought every day of my life since.” Continuing, he remarked: “Sanford Cobb, the missionary to Persia, helped me in another way. Said he ‘Do you ever feel thankful when God blesses you?’ ‘Always.’ ‘Did you ever tell Him so?’ ‘Well, I don’t know that I have.’ ‘Well, try it, my young friend; try it, try it. Tell Him so; tell Him aloud; tell Him so that you are sure you will hear it yourself.’ That was a new revelation. I found that I had been only glad, not grateful. I have since been telling Him with grateful feelings ever since to my soul’s help and comfort.”
General Clinton B. Fisk, in a lay sermon at Ocean Grove one Sunday, began with his text, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” “How do you suppose I came to have that for my text?” he asked. “Well, very early this morning I mounted my horse and went to see a friend who was poor, aged, sick. I found him in his little cabin, and said, ‘Tom, you are sick.’ ‘Yes, I am sick.’ ‘You won’t be able to work any more?’ ‘Can’t work any more.’ ‘You are going to die.’ ‘Yes, I am going to die.’ ‘Have you any meat or bread in the house?’ ‘No, general, I have no meat or bread; but the Lord will take care of me. He sent you here, I know He did; and although I am poor, hungry, and dying, I am perfectly happy through my love for Jesus Christ.’ Nothing could separate him from that.”
A TRUE STORY FOR CHILDREN
It was in Logansport, Indiana. The merry children were on their way from the school house on the hill. In less time than this can be written or read, a bright boy, about eight, sprang out of the crowd, and with a look of mingled joy, sorrow, hope and fear that only the strange face could describe, offering his little hand, said, ‘Please, mister, won’t you take me by the hand?” Said he, “Do not be angry at me, I couldn’t help it. My father’s dead; my mother lives over there in that little house. My father once took me by the hand just so, as I went from school, just here, as he came from work. You look so much like him. But he is dead, and mother is poor and so sad, and I wanted some to take me by the hand again. Good-bye; can’t you call?”
Off like a flash, lost in the crowd. We inquired, but could not find him again.
But as we walked on, what a sermon we said. “Take my hand, please take my hand. I have no father to take my hand now.”
Then the promise’ “I will hold thee by the right hand, I will guide thee with my counsel, and afterward receive thee to glory.”
O dear, fatherless child, you have a Father who is in Heaven. Yes, One that is present. One that is so near; always near; ever ready to help you; to comfort and guide you with His counsel, and afterward to receive you to glory. Put your little hand in His. He will take it. He will hold, He will never let go; He will “take your hand.”
THE WORD OF HELP
Let me show you what I mean: My friend sat in her darkened room, under the shadow of bitter bereavement; to her came, and not in vain, kind letters of sympathy, each one reminding her of one or another of the comforts wherewith the Lord comforteth His people. There came also a poor, ignorant woman, fain to offer comfort; but, having none to offer, she could only sit and weep in sympathy.
“Listen, Margaret,” said my friend, and taking up a open letter, she read: “Do you not remember, dear friend, that your little one’s suffering drew you nearer to him than ever before? So your suffering, as your heart aches for his loss, draws your Heavenly Father nearer to you. And to be near your heavenly Father is safety and peace.
The poor woman drank in the simple words; a new light came to her eyes.
“Sure,” she said, “if misery makes the good Lord think more of us, it’s not so bad, after all.’ And who can doubt that she took this sweet thought home to lighten her own frequent ”miseries.”
The next visit of the death angel to that neighborhood took away a sweet child from a poor mother who had lost three before. Straightway my friend rose up, and, taking another precious letter with her, said to the woman: “My dear old aunt, who long ago lost two little ones, writes to me that she thanked God all her life that her home has been a nursery for angels.”
The weeping mother smiled suddenly upon her bare little room. “Oh, what nice words!” she said.
“I never forgets,” said an old colored woman, as she rested after her hard day’s labor, “what old master usen to say to us at night prayers: ‘We’ve pitched our movin’ tent,’ says ole master, ‘a day’s march nearer home.’ ‘
Of silver and gold we may have none, but such precious things as these are ours to bestow day after day.
Those who are so anxious about the future as to be unhappy in the present, may learn a lesson from a poor colored woman. Her name was Nancy, and she earned a moderate living by washing. She was, however, always happy. One day one of those anxious Christians who are constantly “taking thought” about the morrow, said to her: “Ah, Nancy, it is well enough to be happy now, but I should think your thoughts of the future would sober you. Suppose, for instance, that you should be sick and unable to work: or suppose your present employers should move away, and no one else should give you anything to do: or suppose — ” “Stop!” cried Nancy, “I neber supposes. De Lord is my Shepherd, and I know’s I shall not want. And, honey,” she added to her gloomy friend, “it’s all dein supposes as is making you so mis’ble. You orter give them all up an’ jest trus’ in the Lord.”
OUR KING GIVESI have read somewhere the story of a poor woman who looked longingly at the flowers in the king’s garden, wishing to buy some for her sick daughter. She was angrily repelled by the king’s gardener, who rudely told her, “The king’s flowers are not for sale!”
But the king, chancing to pass, picked a bouquet and gave it to the wistful woman, saying, “The king does not sell his flowers; he gives them away.”
Our King does not sell eternal life; He gives it.
— Rev. J. L. Russell.
ANYWHERE, MY LORD!
The story is told of a young minister who went to Bishop Simpson and said, “Bishop, I cannot go to that appointment. The salary is too small, and it is too far away from the city.” The Bishop tenderly remonstrated with him, and told him not to decide too hastily, and urged him to pray over it. On Sunday the noble bishop occupied the pulpit and preached his famous sermon from the text: “None of these things move me, neither court I my life dear unto myself, so that I may finish my course with joy and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus.” As the Bishop was vividly describing St. Paul crying after every peril and agony, “None of these things move me, a great commotion was observed in the rear of the congregation, and the voice of young man was heard by the startled audience, crying: anywhere, anywhere, my Lord.” Nobody understood that outcry except the young preacher who uttered it and the Bishop in the pulpit. This is the motive, and that the influence, which will evangelize the world.
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A story is told of an old lady in Scotland whose son was in this country, and who prospered in business so nicely that he wrote his mother he would always send her money for the rent, and she need not worry about it any more. In the letter he sent a money order for more than enough to pay the rent, but the old lady thought it was an advertisement, so did not even read it. She waited and waited for the money, which of course did not come, and at last she would have been turned out of the house had not a friend happened in who discovered the money order and explained it to the now happy old lady, going with her to the office to get it cashed.